Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A time for resolutions--or is it?

Jacob and I celebrated New Year's Eve tonight with fondue and wine--sparkling cider or "kid wine" for him, and chardonnay for me. He asked for fondue because we had it last year and he loved it. I had forgotten that it is both expensive and work-intensive--I stirred until I thought it would never come together. And then he said he didn't really like the cheese much but he ate the bread and apples. Truth is, it wasn't as good as I remember either, and it scorched on the bottom. Nonetheless, the idea was fun.
The other night at dinner we were joking about my son-in-law's 2014 resolutions, and I suggested he resolve never to say, "I don't eat ......." He looked appalled and said he couldn't do that. So I said that I had no resolutions to make, and he retorted, "Oh. Because you're perfect?" And I said, "You got it." Truth is I do have some resolutions in mind, though they are only vaguely formulated in my mind--I may blog about them later, but all I can say now is that they have to do with personal growth.
Meantime it occurs to me that New Year's Eve is also a time to look backward and give thanks for the good things in our past year and in our lives. I started a list.
On a daily basis, I am grateful beyond words for my four children and their families, their love for me and pride in my work, their successes in their own lives and families. They make me proud every day--well, okay, there are a few lapses. I am particularly grateful for Jordan, her husband Christian, and their son Jacob who constitute my local family and whom I see almost every day. Because I keep Jacob in the afternoons and a lot of nights I am particularly close to him...and I wish I had that relationship with my other six grandchildren.
I am grateful for my writing, my involvement in the online mystery-writing community, and the shape that work gives to my daily life, though I'm glad I don't rely on it for my livelihood. I'm grateful for my oh-so-comfortable house where I am completely at home, and for those who help me run it--the wonderful woman who cleans, Greg who keeps the garden, Lewis and Jim who see to repairs major and minor. Jacob pointed out it takes a lot of people to run my house, and I said, "Yes, a village." I'm thankful too for wonderful neighbors
I am grateful for Sophie, that wild Indian of a dog who stole a big chunk of expensive tuna off my plate last night and just snitched a Kleenex (used of course). She is daily in her devotion, even lying in the middle of the bathroom when I shower. She is good company, and I love our special tummy-rub time late at night.
2013 brought problems but mostly moments of high delight--there was a marvelous trip to Hawaii with Jordan in late February--a place I never thought I'd go, and I loved it. Thanks to lifelong friends Martha and Dick for hosting us. There was a wowzer of a 75th birthday party, mostly celebrating the new deck in my backyard. For most of the year, Elizabeth lived in the guest house--she was great company, Jacob adored her, and I welcomed not only our late-night wine sessions but also the presence of another person on the property. A corner of our small community here will always miss her. This fall brought a much-anticipated visit from my high school buddy Barbara and her daughter, Amy--too short but wonderful times. We can laugh together as we did in high school.
And there was our Christmas trip to Santa Fe which also brought about a visit with a thirty-year friend I probably haven't seen in ten years.
Do I have worries? Of course--the health of my oldest son is tops on my list of worries, closely followed by what I should do about my career. And there are niggling small annoyances but I feel so blessed by the life I lead.
2014? I think I'll try to grow up--and out (spiritually and mentally but, Lord help me, not physically). God rest ye all and bring you a bright new year.

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